Many Maps: Charting Two Cultures: First Nations Australians and European Settlers in Western Australia

Many Maps: Charting Two Cultures: First Nations Australians and European Settlers in Western Australia

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By Bill and Jenny Bunbury

 Winner of the RWAHS Williams Lee Steere Prize 2021 and the Oral History Australia 2021 Book Award

The title Many Maps, Charting Two Cultures, looks at the way two contrasting societies often misunderstood each other in the western third of Australia. Maps can be drawn and interpreted in different ways. It is possible to map a path through life, find a way through a forest, traverse a desert or chart a sense of self and guide one’s relationship to the natural world.

Australia’s First Nations mapped their world in terms of a spiritual and environmental relationship to country and an animate sense of being. The maps in European heads often explored ways to obtain wealth from the Australian earth. Many Maps traces both misunderstandings, and sometimes sensitive understandings of land and culture in a continent that we both inhabit.

Bill Bunbury graduated with an honours degree from Durham University in 1963 and emigrated to WA that same year. He has won several awards for his Social History Radio features, including the UN Australia Peace Prize, the New York Radio Festival Gold medal and the NSW Premier’s Media Prize. Since 2007, Bill has worked with Community Arts WA, producing radio features where Noongar communities tell their own histories. He now works part-time at Murdoch University. In 2016, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to Broadcasting and Aboriginal communities.

Jenny Bunbury attended Durham University and graduated with BA (Hons) in Modern History. Jenny followed Bill to Australia and in 1975 Jenny joined the WA Public Service where she worked as a policy officer and manager for 30 years in various agencies including Health, Consumer Affairs and Transport. She also managed regional services for a number of agencies working on Aboriginal-Wadjela relations in rural and regional WA.